All parents have a legal right to take leave when their child is born/adopted and then to take care of the child.
In order to make this financially possible, Sweden has a general insurance cover in the form of parental insurance. In addition, many collective agreements provide additional cover to supplement parental benefits.
Leave when a child is born or adopted
The right to take leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child is regulated by the Swedish Parental Leave Act. Parental leave may be taken in a single block, divided into three periods per year or take the form of reduced working hours.
Mothers are entitled to leave from the sixtieth day before the expected date of birth. Fathers are entitled to ten days' leave in connection with the birth of the child.
Plan your parental leave
You may need to agree certain aspects of your parental leave with your employer, e.g. when you will return to work. We recommend that you make a plan for your parental leave.
Leave for temporary care of a child - VAB
Parents are entitled to 120 days' leave per year for temporary care of a child until the child is 12 years old, e.g. if the child is ill, if the child's day care provider is ill or for visits to the child's school or pre-school. Parents then receive temporary parental benefit. This benefit can also be delegated to other persons. Temporary parental benefit is paid by Försäkringskassan, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.
Following the birth of a child, the parent who is at home with the child is entitled to parental benefit. This is paid for a maximum of 480 days in total per child for both parents. Sixty of these days are reserved for each parent, while the rest can be allocated as the parents choose.
For the first 390 days, the benefit paid is the same as the sickness benefit level (sjukpenningnivå) and is based on your sickness benefit qualifying annual income. The remaining 90 days are paid at the minimum level, which is currently SEK 180 per day for children born on or after 1 July 2006 and SEK 60 per day for children born before 1 July 2006. Parental benefit can be drawn until the child's eighth birthday.
Parental leave pay
Parental benefit can be supplemented by parental leave pay through collective agreements. This is paid by the employer and varies according to the collective agreement concerned.
Local parental leave pay agreements
Certain employers have local parental leave pay agreements. In these cases, the stipulations in these agreements apply parallel to the collective agreement. Contact your workplace association representative or the company's HR department to find out what applies at your workplace.